Single.Earth's platform for landowners: what is it and for who?

Single.Earth
June 20, 2022

Single.Earth was founded to solve one of the most critical challenges facing humankind: the destruction of natural ecosystems that support life. Sustainable land management is one of the best ways to protect nature still standing.

Single.Earth is onboarding first landowners to give them a chance to protect forests. Register through the link: Single.Earth’s register link

We’re excited to take users and supporters along on this journey to make nature a part of the economy, starting with the Single.Earth's platform for landowners. Also by giving users and supporters a possibility to meet the Single.Earth’s team and ask questions through a monthly AMA.  

Single.Earth for landowners AMA with the team behind it all

To give an overview of what the Single.Earth's platform for landowners is and give users a way to ask any questions about the platform and landowner terms, we had an AMA (Ask Me Anything). The event can be watched from Youtube.

The platform is a way for a landowner to get a free preliminary estimate of their land’s potential ecological value (starting with carbon sequestration, the biodiversity estimate is in the works) and how much they could earn from not destroying the land.

A part of the team behind the platform we’re on stage:

  • Kaspar Põder, Sustainable Forests Manager
  • Maarika Truu, Head of Sales & Partnerships
  • Erika Tiiman, Product Manager
  • Francois Barnard, Natural Capital Lead
  • Andrus Aaslaid, CTO
  • Host Tarmo Virki, Head of Communication

All questions were asked by users. Here’s the recap of the answers.

What’s a brief insight into the platform?

Any one of the enlisted closed beta landowners (submitted through our landing page https://www.single.earth/landowners) will be granted access to the platform to insert their land data and receive information about forest coverage and carbon sequestration. Discover the platform until you’re ready to start the "land due diligence" process and officially join Single.Earth. This next process is where the user proves ownership of the land they’re submitting. When ownership is proven, the land will be officially onboarded onto the Single.Earth platform and can start earning tokens.

Is there a limit as to how much land I can submit?

No, landowners can submit as much land as they own, there's no limit.

I am not the landowner, but someone wants me to onboard and manage the land on their behalf, is that possible?

Yes, by being an official, legally certified representative of the landowner entity. In the land due diligence process you can choose that option and you will be asked for documents proving that you are the official representative (board member) of the legal entity that owns the land.

Owners from which parts of the world can submit their land to Single.Earth?

Our Digital Twin represents real nature and its work and has been developed to work globally. The only issue we have is legislation. Currently, the Single.Earth's platform for landowners operates only in the EEA (European Economic Area), which includes the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. While we're focusing our efforts on expanding to the rest of the world, you can draw your land in the app and see how much carbon it's absorbing.

Why is there a minimum of three hectares of land limit?

Our current evaluation and monitoring system is not capable of adequately assessing lands less than 3 ha - the inaccuracy might be too big.

That said, our researchers are working hard on our methodologies to be suitable for smaller landowners as well. We will definitely improve on this as Single.Earth’s mission is to onboard all land types and conserve them no matter how big or small.

As for biodiversity, when will we see evaluation mechanisms on that too?

Our science and technology team is actively expanding our measurement parameters besides carbon sequestration into ecosystem integrity and biodiversity.

I have seven hectares of mixed forest, is it worth submitting to the platform?

Absolutely. We want to conserve all forests on Earth.

Why does the map show less forest than how much there actually is?

We define the forest based on historical timelines. The historical analysis has to show that the forest has been intact for at least 20 years. That could be the reason for the discrepancy, as what you have now as a forest might not have been there 20 years ago.

Another reason for this could be that the forest is placed on crossings of geometry skewers, and therefore the actual forest area may not be exactly the same. This is only examined in small lands and should only contribute to a single-digit difference, less than 10% from what the actual land shows to be in official books.

Can I do selective cutting and patch cutting of my forest after it's been onboarded?

Yes, but we request that you contact us before you engage in cutting so we can evaluate how that will affect your land score etc. We suggest all significant land management activities be reported to us first. We want to make sure landowners receive MERIT tokens while also taking good care of their forests.

The ecosystem services are evaluated every two weeks based on satellite data. Then we are profiling the land against the baseline of what was there before the two-week period. If there is a significant change, the minting of the tokens will stop and we will need to reevaluate the modeling based on that. We have a sustainable forest management guideline that describes the evaluation practices in detail.

Every time tokens are minted, a small portion is placed in a holding account for a year and will be unlocked only if the sustainability guidelines are followed. This is in order to incentivize forest conservation.

What will happen with landowner anonymity?

Landowners will remain anonymous while the lands themselves and all calculations made on them will be made public and transparent on Github. All models and data on the lands together with time stamps and parameters that these models are using will be published on Github. The landowner's personal data will remain on our private Github, so if there is a dispute we will be able to prove any differences.

Should I already sign up other land types than forests on the platform now?

We want to expand beyond forests and our science team is already working on different mechanisms that can evaluate different land types.  

It's difficult to give a date for now as to when the different land types will be integrated into the ecosystem and open for onboarding onto the platform, but we are currently working on croplands, marshlands, and wetlands.

What about blue carbon? Will you onboard seas, oceans, and rivers?

Yes, our science team is developing mechanics to evaluate carbon sequestration from water bodies too.

How are you sure your service is legal?

It has been really difficult to have all the red tape in place. We've gone through many institutions to make sure we're all legal. Anything from the GDPR through know-your-customers and know-your-land, anti-money laundering policies, and local cryptocurrency licensing along with other different banking legislations allowing us to offer our service.

That's part of the reason we only cover the EEA for now. There are different legislations required for different parts of the world, especially when the carbon business is involved.

Won't it be an unimaginable amount of work if you have to study each forest area and later monitor them month to month?

Well, that's the work of big data. It's hard to get the mechanism right, but once you do, it's all functioning automatically.

How will the token price be formed?

During the first phase - when we open the Single.Earth Marketplace - the token will be sold at a fixed price calculated based on the landowner's average return on investment. We will keep the price fixed for a few months. This price discovery mechanism is based on the carbon prices in different markets and the expectations of large landowners, who we've been working with for over a year.

The second phase will consist of letting landowners auction MERIT on our website, which will create a more market-driven price.

In the third phase, we release MERIT to cryptocurrency exchanges and make them available to be freely transferred on the blockchain and publicly tradable.

This is still being evaluated and is not final. We will be expanding a lot more on the phasing and tokenomics of MERIT in the near future.

If I'm getting tokens for my land and have traded them, but decide to abandon Single.Earth for some reason, will I need to pay back those tokens?

Definitely not. Those tokens that you were paid were the work that nature had already done. And if you've traded them that's your profit and we have nothing to do with that.

What about land NFTs?

For now, we're focused on rolling out the MERIT token, we might introduce NFTs in the future.

What about Olive Groves? They also sequester carbon.

For now, we're focused on forests, we currently do not support the onboarding of plantations, groves, or orchards.

As we expand our biodiversity metrics, evaluation of such plantations might be low-scoring compared to an intact forest.

Landowners' pre-registration opened in the fall of 2021. Access to Single.Earth's platform for landowners and land evaluation has been open from April 2022.

Pre-register and be among the first to join the platform: Single.Earth’s register link

All further questions are welcome in the chat bubble in the left bottom corner or in the Discord Earthsavers.

For future AMAs and information on Single.Earth, keep an eye on our social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Discord.